I was hired by an award-winning creative graphic design agency in New Jersey to provide brand strategy for their client, a large non-profit mental healthcare provider.
The organization was going through big changes – including a huge shift in the state’s insurance law which would impact them greatly.
The healthcare group was looking to first clarify their positioning and key messaging and then to undertake a creative re-branding, which would include an integrated media, PR and advertising plan. This would help them get the word out more effectively to their different target audiences, or ‘consumers’.
I was brought on board to clearly define and communicate what their brand is, what their brand does, what differentiates them from their competitors, and finally, how to communicate these important things to their audiences.
The design agency reached out to me to facilitate a series of strategy working sessions with the mental health organization, on-site at their NJ location. I designed these sessions to be enjoyable and participatory – no long lectures, no endless PowerPoint decks – in which the healthcare group’s voices were carefully listened to. This would enable me to find answers to vital questions about uncovering their authentic brand.
The two main goals of the working sessions were:
- Team-Building: understanding, agreement, and ownership of the branding process
- Brand Positioning: to find the most compelling difference about the healthcare agency, one that none of their competitors has (or is talking about), and then use it to set up a benefit for consumers
In order to accomplish these goals, Stone Soup worked together with the behavioral healthcare organization’s Branding Team during one intensive week, which included the following participatory discussions and activities:
• Branding Groundwork
• Internal Audit
• Competitive Analysis
• Stakeholder Interviews
• Positioning Statement
• SWOT Analysis
Final deliverables from the sessions included a Findings Report and a Brand Messages Report. The latter document included a positioning statement, brand messages and key brand words. This language emerged in the working sessions and was further shaped by interviews with stakeholders during the validation research component of the branding program. The results were shared with leadership from the healthcare organization in an iterative process until final brand language verbiage was agreed upon. This helped build a critical foundation for everything the healthcare brand will do moving forward.
Finally, this perfectly positioned the creative agency to embark on the creative and tactical portion of the branding process by providing a lens through which they were able to make smart, strategic decisions in managing and growing the behavioral healthcare provider’s brand. Ultimately this included several creative solutions such as logo design; website design; design of print and online marketing materials; a PR campaign; and naming and tagline development.
We worked with Julia on strategic branding workshops for our client. Julia facilitated branding workshops that provided key staff and management the opportunity to participate in a branding exercise and left us with the feedback we needed from the team to begin our brand strategy. Julia also helped us conduct internal and external stakeholder interviews to test positioning statements developed during the workshop. Julia was great at keeping the conversation focused and not swaying opinions and worked great with both our internal team and our clients. She was organized, professional and got the work done on schedule – not to mention clients that really enjoyed the workshopping process. We would recommend her for any agency/studio who is looking to build out their strategic branding services.” – LARISSA M., CO-OWNER, NJ-BASED CREATIVE AGENCY